Entitle Direct has created an informational guide to help consumers benefit from the new Good Faith Estimate (GFE). This is the first in a series of guides from the industry innovator to help demystify real estate financing and empower consumers to take control of the mortgage closing process. The new GFE, which went into effect on Jan. 1, 2010, encourages consumers to first shop and then compare fees from various lenders before choosing a mortgage. It helps consumers understand what services they can shop for, so they not only receive the lowest interest rate and best terms, but save significantly on their closing costs as well.
“We published The Smart Consumer’s Guide because we want borrowers to aggressively compare fees from different lenders and third-party service providers, including title insurance companies, before choosing a mortgage,” says Timothy Dwyer, chief executive officer of Entitle Direct Group and founder of ENTITLEDIRECT.COM. “Our guide will help consumers shop for a mortgage, and then compare, analyze and finalize. This important process will help borrowers avoid overpaying in closing costs what they might save with a lower interest rate.”
“We started the company in 2006 with the goal of helping consumers take control of the mortgage process and save significantly on closing costs," said Dwyer. "As the country’s first direct-to-consumer title insurance company offering title insurance premiums that are up to 35 percent lower than those offered by competitors, Entitle Direct fully supports the new GFE and other consumer-friendly documents that bring more transparency into the real estate financing process.”
The Smart Consumer’s Guide provides a step-by-step explanation of the new GFE, including clear definitions of the document’s financial jargon and layout. It walks readers through each section of the GFE, highlighting ways consumers can compare and lower their financing and closing costs. Key elements include:
►What are the major changes to the GFE?
►Why is there a need for a uniform document?
►What are the loan basics and origination charges?
►How does a borrower compare loans, settlement services and estimated charges from different lending institutions?
►And what circumstances allow lenders to issue a revised GFE?
For home buyers, lower closing costs could mean affording a larger home within their current budget, lowering their overall mortgage payments or simply being able to bring less money to the closing table. For home sellers, offering to pay the closing costs for the home buyer can ‘seal the deal.’
“A tip to remember is that the real estate closing involves many parties, from real estate agents and insurance underwriters to the mortgage broker and lending institution," said Dwyer. "Know all the parties involved and keep an open line of communication with all of them.”
For more information, visit www.entitledirect.com.